The Theory of Multiple Intelligences Essay


Howard Gardner proposed the multiple intelligences theory in the year 1983 in order to precisely describe the intelligence notion and deal with the legitimacy of ways used in intelligence rankings. To him intelligence as originally classified does not comprise satisfactorily all human abilities in vast and diverse way as they are generally displayed. The theory recommends learning institutions to gather for individual needs of every kid in education rather than dependence on standardized curricula. In such concept, the argument is that a pupil who masters arithmetic with ease is not in any way generally intelligent than his counterpart who with difficult solves the computation. The latter may be superior in another intelligence category and consequently through a varied approach may best learn how to tackle the sum, may be excellent in another field rather than mathematics, or may be viewing the arithmetic through a basically higher level perspective that conceals advanced mathematical intelligence from the former who with ease memorizes the theory.

Categories of Intelligences by Gardner

The theory of multiple intelligences developed from neurological evidence that different brain sections are specialized for certain activities that evolve relevantly with their capability identification and distinction. In the beginning Gardner defined seven main intelligences as, logical/mathematical, Linguistic, musical, interpersonal, spatial, intrapersonal and bodily-kinesthetic. But later in a symposium in 1997 he added the Naturalistic intelligence as the eighth one which has attracted vast criticisms.  The theory of multiple intelligences has received wide criticisms in the education and psychology theory societies. With most frequent critics arguing that the theory by Gardner is founded on self instinct but not practical statistics and that the categories of intelligences are synonyms for personalities and talents. Regardless of such criticism, over the past two decades Gardner’s theory has increased its popularity with teachers and instructors. In this text we will concentrate on Gardner’s first four intelligences as given in this article.

Logical/Mathematical Intelligence

This region deals with numbers, logic, reason and abstraction. Whereas there is a common assumption that people in possession of logical intelligence obviously do extremely well in mathematics, computer programming, arithmetical tricks, and in games like chess, a more precise definition puts emphasis on traditional ability in mathematics and high aptitude in reason, theoretical appreciation models, analysis and scientific judgment, and the capability to solve complex computation. These sturdily correlate with IQ or conventional intelligence concepts. This level of intelligence is categorized with most scientists, engineers, economists, doctors and mathematicians’ functioning.

Linguistic or Verbal Intelligence

This is an area that dwells on the spoken or written word. Persons with elevated linguistic or verbal intelligence exhibit competence in languages and words. They are characterized by excellent writing, reading and story telling skills, and the capability to memorize words in addition to their date. They have a tendency to best learn by note taking, reading, discussions, debates and listening to sermons. They are normally accomplished in giving explanation, teaching and give persuasive speeches or oration. Individuals with linguistic intelligence easily learn foreign tongue because they posses very high verbal memory or recall, with the facility to comprehend and influence grammar and configuration. Such intelligence is evident and highest in lawyers, politicians, writers, journalists, teachers and philosophers.


This part basically deals with the way people interact and relate with others. Individuals or persons with elevated interpersonal intelligence have a tendency of being extrovert, distinguished by their compassion to other people’s thoughts, mood, enthusiasm and temperament, and the capacity to accommodate to acquire teamwork in activities. This people effectively converse and without difficulty identify with others and the ability to follow or lead easily. They characteristically gain knowledge best through teamwork and frequently get pleasure from debates and discussions. Managers, teachers, social workers and politicians put in practice and benefit from interpersonal intelligence (Gardner, 1993).

Musical Intelligence

This kind of intelligence focuses on music, hearing and rhythm. People in possession of high ranking rhythmic or musical intelligence demonstrate superior sensitivity to music, sound, tone and rhythm. They generally own good quality pitch or to a lager extend have complete pitch with ability to sing well, play instruments of music and the capacity to create music. Because this intelligence has a sturdy audio element, people with strength in it learn well through lectures. Also with a frequent incorporation of rhythms or songs to study or memorize ideas, they can ideally multi tusk work with background playing music. Those with this intelligence suit themselves with careers like, composing, singing, disc jockeys and conductors.

The Role of Gardner’s Theory in Education

By reading and writing, learning institutions traditionally emphasized the progress of linguistic and logical intelligence. Despite the fact that most learners adapt best in such atmosphere, a number of cases find it rather unfriendly. The theory of multiple intelligences suggests that scholars will get the best service from an education system with a broader vision, in which teachers use varied methods, exercise and activity to contact all learners, rather than only those who prevail in logical and linguistic intelligence (Klein, 1997). Most educators view this theory as straightforward common sense that confirms what is already known about scholars: that they learn through diverse approaches. On the other hand, the theory has not found yet strong root or acceptance by many teachers and academicians.


Many learning institutions have by now adopted multiple intelligences as pedagogy, and theory incorporation by individual educators in their teaching methods. Presently there are many educational materials and books that carry explanation on how the multiple intelligences theory can be applied in lecture rooms. According to Klein (1997), opponents argue that the theory may result in academic relativity where those who fail are defined as possessing a different category of intelligence, that Gardner’s denial of intellectual tasks having actual statistical features does not explain empirical data correlation, the theory may be used as an excuse by weak students in some subjects if applied in schools, and finally an individual administered test generally determines one’s intelligence that gives the assessment error much degrees of freedom contrary to survey techniques and methods.


Gardner, H. (1993). Multiple Intelligences: The Theory in Practice. New York:

Klein, P. D. (1997). Multiplying the problems of intelligence by eight.  A critique of Gardner’s theory. Canadian Journal of Education, Vol.22 (4).